Advanced Television

Viaplay adds 766k subs in Q2

July 21, 2022

Viaplay, the Nordic streaming service, has reported that paying subscribers were up 69 per cent year-on-year to 5,549,000 with 766,000 subscribers added quarter-on-quarter. The company has raised its year end subscriber target from 7 million to 7.3 million to reflect higher expected international subscriber intake.

Viaplay reported a total operating income of SEK 205 million (€19.6m) for the quarter.

Anders Jensen, CEO at Viaplay, commented: “We have delivered another quarter that is well in line with our strategy and goals. The strong performance of Viaplay in the Nordics was complemented by further growth in the international operations. As a result of this and our new B2B partnership in Poland, we are upgrading our year-end Viaplay subscriber target from 7 million to 7.3 million. The Nordic subscriber target remains unchanged after the upgrade last quarter, while the international subscriber target has now been raised from 2.2 million to 2.5 million. We now expect Group revenues to grow by at least 28 per cent this year, and for higher growth in sales for the international operations to be reflected in lower losses for the international operations of approximately SEK 1.35 billion. There is no change to our full year sales growth and profit growth expectations for the Nordic operations. Full year total operating profits for the Group, including ACI and IAC, are expected to be considerably higher than last year, with substantial operating leverage to come in 2023 and beyond.”

“Our 18 per cent YoY group organic revenue growth was driven by Viaplay (42 per cent of sales). Viaplay sales were up 42 per cent on an organic basis with the Viaplay subscriber base growing by 69 per cent. We added 766k Viaplay subscribers in the quarter and 2,262k YoY, to end the quarter with 5,549k subscribers.”

“The accelerated 24 per cent YoY growth in the Viaplay subscriber base in the Nordics was driven by our B2B partnerships and the new agreement with Tele2 in Sweden in particular. Sales for Viaplay in the Nordics were up 17 per cent on an organic basis. The rate of subscriber and sales growth will now accelerate in H2, with rising ARPU levels, as we take on the exclusive and hugely popular Premier League rights in Norway, for which prices have already been adjusted.”

“The international Viaplay operations added 307k subscribers in the quarter, with revenues growing accordingly. We will add the Premier League rights in the Netherlands, Poland and the Baltics next month, and then launch Viaplay in the UK in the Autumn. The B2B partnerships are working well, and the addition of the new agreement with Canal+ in Poland will also drive accelerated subscriber intake and sales growth in H2 compared to H1.”

“We have also today announced the acquisition of Premier Sports, an established and growing sports streaming and TV channel subscription business in the UK. This will accelerate our development and secures a growing subscriber base, a complementary portfolio of sports rights, and a number of long-term distribution contracts at an attractive price point. This is not included in our upgraded guidance, as the closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.”

“Linear subscription and other revenues (31 per cent of sales) were up 7 per cent YoY on an organic basis. The growth rate is expected to accelerate in H2 as pay-TV prices rise in line with the enhanced content offerings. We have now also secured a number of extended distribution agreements in Norway to reflect the addition of the Premier League to our offering.”

“Advertising revenues (27 per cent of sales) were up 5 per cent YoY on an organic basis, and reflected market share gains due to our exclusive coverage of the Ice Hockey World Championships, as well as good growth in the radio advertising markets in particular. We are delivering on the annual agreements that were concluded at higher prices, and the level of demand has remained high to date.”

“The 27 per cent YoY increase in our Nordic profits reflects the operating leverage in the business. The strong subscriber intake and sales growth for the international operations resulted in lower losses for the international expansion, which is why we have upgraded our full year outlook.”

“Allente is benefitting from the full run-rate cost synergies arising from the completed integration programme, and is contributing to our profits as planned. The anticipated dividend payments will be received in H2.”

“We are fully funded for our expansion and have full visibility over our forward content costs, which are locked in for years to come. The broader macro-economic outlook and geopolitical backdrop are of course less certain, and we are ready to make adjustments as and when required, as we have done in the past. Viaplay Group is a values-based and purpose-led organisation that seeks to create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders. This is why we are continuing with our expansion strategy and growth plan, which walk hand in hand with our climate and diversity-related objectives. The second half of this year includes a number of important milestones for us, which we are fully focused on reaching,” concluded Jensen.

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